ReSiDeNt BlOg

Monday, March 24, 2008

Language Game

In this first edition of the Language Game, the performer, wearing a custom designed soft sensor suit, puppeteers Lemur's surrounding robotic musical instruments. As the performer begins to experiment with the system’s potential, her dance becomes both action and reaction.

Concept, soft sensor suit and motion-capture to midi interface by Mika Satomi and Hannah Perner-Wilson. Performer, professional ballroom dancer Micaela Schedlbauer. Robotic musical instruments by Lemur, League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots.

from photoshop to photo-ready

Hi folks, this is Jay Alan Zimmerman. I've had a great time during my residency at LEMUR and I've learned so much. My (overly ambitious) goal was to create a "visual symphony" because I'm a composer who has become deaf to most sound.

The first step was to bring some visual order to the LEMUR space and group the robots to create an "orchestra." So I photographed the robots and space and came up with this general layout in photoshop.

Next up was devising the conceptual arc of the piece. One thing the robots lack vs. human players is anticipatory movement, i.e., when a violinist raises her bow you realize a sound is about to occur. So I decided to let the video screens play the role of "conductor" and virtually touch the robots to trigger their sounds. Little did I realize this would require much programming, multiple computers & programs all synced together.

It's been a lot of work, but thanks to the Lemur team, this has become a reality. Now I just have to finish the score by Friday... : )